Friday, December 3, 2010

About Not Getting Over It

I have a confession to make, there is a little piece of me that dies every single time someone suggests to someone else that they should 'get over it'. The 'it' being whatever personal issue that person has. 'It' may be an argument with a family member, death of parent/child/sibling/friend, abuse suffered at the hands of parent/child/sibling/friend/stranger, etc. There is a trauma that every person in the history of mankind has suffered that they cannot 'get over'. It doesn't matter how long ago it happened, whether it happened to them or someone that they loved, this trauma has scarred them forever. It is a deep, open, never healing wound for the traumatized.

To be told to 'get over it' will invariably provoke one of two responses, Option #1- The traumatized will begin to feel guilty about not getting over it and will still not be able to get over it. Option #2- The traumatized person will tell the cold hearted douchecanoe to go f*ck themselves and never speak to them again. In my case, it will always depend on who tells me to 'get over it'. If it's someone who doesn't really hold any significant place in my life I will always, without any hesitation, go with Option #2. Admittedly, my option #2 will includes a no warning onset of Defcon 1, emptying of the missile silos, and scorched earth left in my wake as I have a very low bullshit threshold. Others have mastered the art of telling people to go f*ck themselves with a civility I will never be able to muster. I learned that about myself a long time ago, I'm okay with that part of me in this situation. If it is, however, someone I do have a strong connection with, someone I cannot imagine NOT having in my life, I go with Option #1.

People who you love, who love you, who don't understand your grief/apprehension/anger/guilt are the ones who cut the deepest. Those people make you question yourself, which is the last thing you should be doing when it comes to your visceral need to grieve/protect/rage or whatever it is you're doing that they think you should be done doing by now. You can't be done, because your heart and mind tell you that you are not done yet. In my case, it's been 15 years since the death of my infant daughter. I'm not over it, I'm not going to ever be over it, but some loved ones think I should be.

My trauma is not your trauma, yours is not mine, and we can't know what it will  take to relieve someone else's burden that their trauma has brought them; or if it can ever be relieved. To stand by as someone you know is dealing with their issue and smugly suggest that they 'get over it' is the height of asshattery. To refuse acknowledge that they may never get over something is the essence of douchebaggery. And here is something about yourselves Mr/Mrs. Getoverit that you need to recognize, to suggest that someone has it within themselves to just 'get over it' and the sad sack just won't? That my dear friend, is an act of supreme selfishness.

You do not get to decide when someone has grieved enough, raged enough, cried enough, feared enough. You do not get to dictate when the mourning period ends. We, who are unable to GET OVER IT, now live our lives in two separate periods, BT (Before Trauma) and AT (After Trauma). Do you think for one moment that we don't spend time wishing to be the whole people we were BT? Do you think we don't hate the AT version of ourselves that can't listen to certain songs, watch certain movies, see certain people with having mild breakdowns? If you do, you're wrong. You couldn't be more wrong. You are so far past wrong that it would take the light from right a million years to reach where you are. We wish we could live BT. We wish we never knew that there existed a period of time known as AT.

I say all of that so I can say this, before you tell someone to 'get over it' you should probably stop and consider that the life we live, the life full of grief/apprehension/anger/guilt, is not the life we imagined for ourselves. Realize before you hurt someone you love, that they didn't ask to live this way. Consider for a moment, before you forever alter the course of your relationship with this person, that some things cannot be gotten over. Getting over it is great in theory and impossible in reality. And finally, try to understand that not getting over it is sometimes the only way we can hold on to the memory of our lost loved ones, lost innocence, lost hope, or lost dream. We can't enjoy the good without suffering through the bad, so we won't be 'getting over it' any time soon.  I suggest YOU get over our not getting over it.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Who Would You Be?

Dearest Taylor,

Today marks fifteen years that you left this world, and took your bright eyes and beautiful smile with you. In the last fifteen years a lot of things have changed, but the most important thing hasn't changed, I still don't have you. I still think of you almost every day, about how beautiful you were, how you smiled, and how your laugh sounded. I think about how much you loved to watch the dogs play while you sat in your walker. I think about how much your family loved you and how happy you made us all during your very short nine months on this earth.

I try not to think about all the things I never got to do with you. I spend the first eight years you were gone obsessed by the things you got cheated out of doing. No first birthday, no first steps, no first brownie, no first trip to Disney World, no first day of school, the firsts you didn't have eclipsed the firsts that you did. I had forgotten to think about the first time you smiled at me, the first time you tasted apple juice, the first time we played "Taylor, Taylor, Taylor, Mommy, Mommy, Mommy", the first time you laughed, and the first time you said 'Mama'. I had lost those firsts in my grief for the firsts you would never get. When I realized how much I had forgotten to appreciate, I made myself a promise not to dwell on all you hadn't gotten to do at the expense of that you had done.

There is one thing I can't help myself from dwelling on, a question I can't stop myself from asking. Who would you be today? In all of my attempts to push past the worst of the grief, I can't help but play the "Would Taylor..." game. It goes like this: I'm watching TV with your little brother, and a commercial for something teen girly comes on, so immediately the game begins, "Would Taylor like that?" 'That' being the Jonas Brothers, Lady Gaga, Gossip Girl, Vampire Diaries, or whatever it is that is flashing across the screen. I can't help but wonder about it because of all the things I grieve the most when it comes to you, I grieve not knowing who would be. Would you be smart? Funny? Good at math? History? Would you play sports or be a cheerleader? Would you like pancakes with peanut butter? Who would be your first movie star crush? Would you listen to Justin Bieber? Would you be listening to Justin Bieber only so you could drive me insane?  Would you be like me? Would you sing? Would you write? Would you like horror movies? Would we have been standing in line at midnight to see the Twilight movies? What would your favorite color be? Would you like pizza? The list of things I wish I knew about the person you never got to grow up to be is endless.

I'm still missing you every day; I don't think there will ever come a time when I don't miss you. There are still moments, all these years later, when something makes me think of you and it makes my heart seize in pain. In those moments, my mind stops completely except for a perfect memory of you smiling at me. I used to dread those moments, but I’ve come to realize that the still vivid pain is the payment I must make in order to have the still vivid memories of the happiness. How else would the sweetness of your smile hold context if I didn’t have the pain of the ‘what if’ to remind me of the ‘what was’? Does that make any sense? Does it seem weird that I relish the heartbreak because I know that it keeps you close to me and your beautiful memory fresh? Maybe it does, but it’s all I have, so I take it.

I love you eternally my precious baby girl,
Mom

Friday, October 8, 2010

Rhythmic Boxing Sans Rhythm

**WRITTEN 9/28/2010 I hit save instead of Publish**

Exercise and I will never be friends, it is the bane of my very existence. I hate it and everything it stands for. That being said, exercise is also a necessary evil. So I grumble, grouse, and swear about it, but I do it. I've seen no real results in my weight, but I have seen a marked improvement in my stamina and energy. I've done Couch to 5k for the last 12 weeks. In the interest of honesty I should say that instead of running, I rode a bike for the allotted running time when my knee started acting all, 'This bitch is crazy!' after the first 6 weeks in the program. Yes, I know the c25k program is only 9 weeks long but I did weeks 7, 8, and 9 twice because they kicked my ass mightily the first time, I wanted to drag out the experience a little more.

After I finished the c25k program I was nowhere near interested in ready to participate in a 5k, and not keen on doing the whole thing again, so I began looking for something else to do. I tried walking on the treadmill, riding the stationary bike, using the Sliding Machine of Torture (Total Gym), and absolutely nothing kept my interest. I know me, if I'm not interested in doing something, I won't keep doing it no matter how good it is for me. It's a nasty habit, but I've accepted it about myself.

I was looking into other fitness programs when I saw it sitting on the shelf. My old nemesis, the Wii Fit. It was watching me, tempting me, mocking me with its' white balance board. I pulled it out and scrounged up the games that go with it, so for the last few weeks I've tried getting back to quasi-friendly terms with my Wii Fit. It's a masochistic manifestation of my self-loathing. Surprisingly, I have found myself addicted to the damn thing and I use it three times a week for cardio and yoga for 45 minutes to an hour. The other three days that I work out, I use the treadmill, stationary bike, and Sliding Machine of Torture.

I don't know why I find it so addictive, I spend most of my time swearing at it. It's starts out with minor annoyance at needing to select my way through 85 different menu options but soon becomes a full blown rage when insulted by a fecking video game system every time I step on the balance board. The Wii Fit says "Oh!" when I step on it, I say "PHUUUUUUUUCK YOU" and it goes steadily down hill from there. I'm told rage burns calories so...

I bore you to death with that so I can humiliate myself and tell you this, I pulled a muscle in my left chesticular region while playing working out on the Wii Fit. I was moving along through my routine, I'd just completed an 'Island Run' and unlocked a new Running Game. When I saw that I hadn't yet played the Rhythmic Boxing game. Somewhere in my head there was a little voice telling me that this would end badly. That little voice reminded me of the ER trips because I have trouble walking and talking at the same time. I told that little voice to have a nice tall glass of shut-the-hell-up and I selected the boxing game. Part 1 of the tutorial was a lot of fun. A LOT! And I got the moves down pretty quickly so I decided to skip part 2 of the tutorial and go straight into the work out. The little voice I'd silenced earlier tried to show me the flaw in this plan, but I slapped it down and went about my business.

I moved through the basic work out easily, and I got a little more confident in myself. So I continued to box my way through the routine for another 15 minutes. When I unlocked the 'Extended Workout' I immediately was...one might say cocky, but I say self confident. I was all,  'YES! I AM MADE OF AWESOME!' I selected the extended workout and I got a warning saying I should be wary of over doing it and that I had already worked out for 48 minutes, did I want to take a break?  I was like, "I don't need a break! I am awesome, and Wii Fit is about to be my bitch!" Pride goeth before the fall...ha.ha.ha.

I lasted through the first two combinations and then... I don't know exactly what happened. I don't know when I went from confident Rhythmic Boxer to Queen of the Spazmanian Devils. Maybe it was somewhere between the upper cut/jab/backward-step-off-the-balance-board and Right/Left/Right/Duck. I'll never know for sure. It's a mystery. All I know is I got a little confused, lost my balance, and when I stepped off the balance board it slid out from under my other foot and I managed not to fall. In the process of not falling and ascending to the throne of the Spazmanian Devil Dynasty I pulled a muscle in my chest, the left side. It's like a hot poker is being jabbed through my boob and coming out of my back. It hurts, so I bitch, but it's also a ridiculous injury so I laugh. HahahahahahaOW!

Wii Fit - 1 Me - 0

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Random Nothingness

There are many  reasons to love living in New Orleans, the culture, the food, the festivals, the food...what? Yes, I know I said the food twice, it is THAT good. Anyway, two of the things I absolutely adore about New Orleans is Audubon Zoo and The Aquarium of the Americas. And now, with the addition of the Mancub to our little family, we have the perfect excuse to go to those places often, and with the addition of my kick-ass camera I have the means to take some pretty cool pics when we go. I am not a professional photographer, I'm not even good enough to call an amateur photographer. I just know what I like and I snap it, sometimes it comes out, sometimes it doesn't.

Like, here it worked,












But here it didn't














That's an alligator in the water. Where? It's behind the plant I focused on by mistake.

The Aquarium provides a little more difficulty for me what with the glass and water getting in the way, but I get some decent shots once in a while.













Anyway, why do I tell you all of this? I don't know. I needed to post something and I'm all out of interesting so I'm going to have to go with pointless.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Two!

***The following post was written on June 24th and for some reason 'Saved' not published. Read on:

Dear Mancub,

Today was a special day for you sweetie, you turned the big 0-2! You woke up extra early, thanks for that by the way, and we got you dressed and went to the Aquarium of the Americas with your all of your grandparents and Aunt K. Of course, you didn't know it was your birthday, and you weren't sure why all of your peeps were together and giving you extra helpings of adoration, but you totally rolled with it and were such a good kid all day long.

Daddy and I were pretty blissed out all day long, and we are so very happy that you are ours forever and ever. I love you so much it hurts.

Love you,
Mommy

Monday, June 14, 2010

Upsetting the Apple Cart

So as Mancub's second birthday fast approaches I find myself in a quandary, as he's never managed to escape the confines of his prison, erm... I mean to say baby bed, do I convert his bed to a toddler bed or leave him suspended in time like a pre-flight Peter Pan in his baby bed. I should be clear, it's not for lack of effort that he has been unable to make like the Joe Bowers, he tries every single day. We were lucky enough to have purchased a bed with sides so high that he would have to add an extra 8 inches to already 36" frame in order to hoist a leg up and over the side. Being thwarted at every attempt has not stopped him from trying every.single.day. He has determination that kid, and he now has biceps and triceps that would make a pro weightlifter jealous from his attempts to pull himself up and out of the bed. So to recap he can't escape his parental imposed prison.

I think on one hand it is the height of awesomeness that he can't get out of bed yet because it eliminates the possibility of waking up at 2am eyeball to eyeball with a bright eyed toddler scaring the bejeezuz out of me and leave a wet spot on my side of the bed. You would think at first glance that's enough of a reason to keep him captive, but it also means that he can't come and get us if something is wrong or he's scared. I'm no fool, it also means he won't be in the kitchen at 2am pulling everything out of the fridge. (If this is where you tell me about the safety closures for appliances, save it, we have them and he opens the sh!T anyway.)

On the other hand, I long to give him the freedom of the other 2 year old we know. I want him to be able to climb in his bed when he's tired instead of collapsing on the floor with his blanket. I want him to be able to grab a book and climb on his bed to read it like he wants to. I want him to be able to get up and down without having to wait for us to come and help him. And yet...as i type all of that, the part of me that likes calm and order? She is shrieking in terror.

So here's the question, the query, the poser: Do I maintain the status quo? Do I leave him in a state of constant frustration at his inability to get out of bed? Or do I set him free, grant him parole, spring him from the hoosegow?

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

To Clear the Air

Recently I have had numerous people offer their opinion on what I should do to make my life more fulfilling and happy. I mostly just smile and nod, but seriously? I'm thinking they should all just back the fck off. I like my life, I'm happy, and simply because I don't walk around shooting sunshine out of my ass all day every day; it doesn't give anyone the right to tell me they think I need to start doing so. You know those people who do that? The ones who walk around spouting off about how perfect their lives are? Yeah, those people are full of shit. They aren't trying to convince you that their lives are great, they are trying to convince themselves.

So in an effort to clear the air and avoid my completely coming unglued at the next gentle suggestion as to how to improve my life; I offer these insights:

  • I don't have a lot to say most days, so I don't say a lot. That doesn't mean that I'm angry, stressed, depressed, or sad. It simply means that I don't feel the need to talk just to hear the sound of my own voice.
  • I can't respond with wit and insight to every single email, IM, text message, tweet, or smoke signal all day long sometimes you will just have to accept a 'yes', 'no', or 'WTF?!' as the only response you're going to get.
  •  Sometimes I'm busy working, sometimes I'm busy writing, sometimes I'm busy with something that doesn't mean anything to anyone but me, sometimes I'm busy being a mom/wife/daughter/sister/friend. But sometimes? Well this might shock some folks, but sometimes I'm not doing a damn thing. One thing I'll never be doing is explaining myself to anyone, so stop asking me 'why' I'm doing something. 
I also feel the need to point out here that sometimes people are simply projecting their own dissatisfaction onto others. We all know life sucks sometimes. It's hard, cruel, and stressful, but it's also what you make of it. So your being unhappy with the way your spouse spends your money doesn't mean you can make yourself feel better by telling me that I should make The Husband stop fishing because it's a waste of our money. If I have a problem and I WANT to talk about it I will come to you, don't get involved or throw your two cents in until that time. Stop trying to give me the same problems you have. I've got enough problems of my own, I don't need you creating some for me. 
 
On the subject of my problems, listen to me carefully here because I mean to say this only once, "My problems are MY PROBLEMS." I know that most people are used to the current 'reality show' society we live in now where we post our inner most thoughts on Twitter, Facebook, Myspace, and other social media platforms in an attempt to make us all mini-celebrities. I'm on all three of the services listed above, but the truth is I don't feel the need to talk about every single little piddling pithy problem I have. Frankly some of things I get pissy about have no rhyme or reason and are not valid complaints deserving of acknowledgment. My problems are also no different then your problems, so why would you want to hear them? Does it make you feel better to hear about other people's problems? What does that say about you?
 
So all of that said, here is the current status of my life problem wise. There isn't enough money, and there isn't enough time. See? Same problems you have, nothing special. So...quite anti-climactic, no? Were you imagining something worse? Something like...never mind. I don't care what anyone imagines is wrong with my life. Just know that simply because I don't walk around shooting rainbows out of my every orifice, trailed by a flock of cartoon blue birds, and singing some Disney song; it doesn't mean that there is anything wrong. Also? If there were something wrong? I don't need to share it with anyone.
 
Contrary to popular belief I'm not social, I'm not friendly, and most importantly I'm not a sharer. This blog? Mostly just a place for me to come and vent or tell a story so that I can remember the details later. I don't do this for money or notoriety, I do this so I don't have to actually write in a diary. It's called being lazy, there I said it. I blog because I'm lazy, I don't blog often because I'm THAT lazy.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Dink Dink Dink

So Mancub has decided on a new ritual for the end of the day. Where before we would give him a bath and settle on the couch and watch 'Jack's Big Music Show' or 'Mickey Mouse Clubhouse' for an hour, he has decided that he prefers to lay in Mommy and Daddy's bed and watch 'The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh' or 'Pooh' for short. He picked up this habit from my mother who, in an attempt to mollify a bright eyed toddler at 2 a.m., will let him lay in her bed and watch Winnie the Pooh if he wakes up in the middle of the night when he sleeps over. I'm not complaining, WtP is my favorite Disney cartoon classic evah! I've already seen it six bajillion times and will happily watch it eleventy billion more. I think it's sweet, and my left butt cheek is grateful because when stuck with him in my lap on the couch it gets a cramp.

So last night as I was drying him off from his bath he looked at me and said, 'lumps and oozles' and I said, 'Wha?' He pointed at the TV in our bedroom, looked at me (like I was brain damaged), and said, 'lumps and oozles'. Oooooh! Heffalumps and Woozles! Duh! Of course! "Okay buddy, Lumps and Oozles in a second. Let's get your jammies on first." He ran to the bed, pulled his jammies off the edge, and handed them to me saying "lumps and oozles, lumps and oozles," and finally "Mooooomieeeeeeeeeeee! Lumps!And!Oozles!" which is not-quite-two-year-old speak for 'Holy christ woman! MOVE.YOUR.BUTT!'

So I tossed him (still naked) onto the bed, slapped a diaper on him (because he is NOT going to pee on my bed), and turned the movie on so it could run through the credits while I put his jammies on. **I pause here to tell the Disney folks that I find it wholly unnecessary for there to be 10 minutes of Disney filler that I cannot fast-forward through to get to the main menu. I don't need 10 minutes of forced 'Hey! Remember this movie? It's ours too!' when I have a toddler repeating 'Lumps and Oozles' at such a high volume that my ears bleed. kthanxbai!**

Newly scrubbed and jammied up, he looks over to the nightstand and sees his cup of juice, climbs over the pillows to retrieve it, then settles in to the aforementioned pillows and waits for his show to start. The Husband comes in the room at this point (I have only recently noticed that he is nowhere to be found when Mancub is screeching and fit-throwing, but pops up to bask in the docile moments) and three of us settle down in the dark to watch the movie when The Husband asks what we're watching. I tell him it's the same movie we've watched Every.Night.For.The.Last.Two.Weeks.

The opening strains of the movie start when Mancub pops up and says "dink dink dink". I ask him if he needs more juice and he looks at me, with what I imagine is pity and frustration, and put his little hand to his temple and says 'Dink! Dink! Dink!" tapping his temple 3 times for emphasis. I almost fell off the bed when I realize what he's saying. He was quoting Pooh 'Think Think Think' and when I was done laughing, I started to tear up. My boy is so cute it hurts. Here's proof.


Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Whiney McWhinerson of Whinersville Whinesconsin

So I may have mentioned in yesterday's post that I love love love me some Mancub. He's cute, he's funny, he's a toddler, so generally he's just plain fun, and yet... there are moments. Those moments are fleeting and rare, but when they occur? I begin to search the house for the hard liquor. These moments all have the same trigger, whining. When he whines it makes me want to peel my face off and remove my eyes with a rusty spoon. I can't take it, it's like fingernails on the chalk board of my soul.


Temper tantrum? I ignore it. Bouts of tears with no apparent cause? I hand the little drama king a hankie and go about making dinner. He gets mad, he gets sad, he gets over it. He's mercurial, that kid of mine. One moment he is happily playing with his toys, and the next he is a screeching howler monkey of rage or woe. His moods shift rapidly and he is expressive. I spend most of these lightning fast mood shifts stifling laughter because, honestly, the kid is cute as all get out even mid temper fit. He's also little, he doesn't have a vast array of words to choose from to express his desires and frustrations, nor does he have a vast amount of patience with us slow-witted adults who don't know what he means half of the time. I try to fix the cause of his distress when possible and let it run its' course if I can't.Where was I? Oh right, whining.

When I say I can't tolerate whining, I don't mean just toddler whining drives me bat-shit bug-nuts crazy. I mean whining in any form from anyone. It.works.my.nerves. So when he is clingy, screechy, and whiney with no good cause (teething is a bitch, yo) I have to remove one or the other of us from the situation; and since I pay the mortgage...well low-man on the totem pole and all. He gets sent to his room. My husband doesn't like it, he doesn't get why it bothers me so much and I threaten to send him to his room too.

The fact is this, whining serves no useful purpose. Children, especially not quite two year old children, don't understand that, but grown ups should. So for future reference and to avoid my sending you to your room I offer you these unarguable whine  related factoids. Whining is not going to make me do something you want me to do if I don't want to do it. It's not going to make your situation any brighter. And finally, whining does not reduce stress, but getting frustrated enough with the ceaseless asshattery to tell someone to bite you arse does, in fact, greatly reduce stress. It's true, look it up.

Monday, April 26, 2010

A Floater

Mancub is approaching his second birthday. Gone are the days of watching him scoot his little diapered butt across the floor because he doesn't want to crawl or walk. Now he runs everywhere, especially away from whatever it is you want him to do. Gone are the hours of watching him sit in one place and play contentedly with his blocks. Now he is only still while he's asleep. Gone is the always smiling, kiss giving, sweet sweet little boy who made my heart swell with happiness and pride. Now I have a hard headed, contrary, deliberately disobedient toddler who thought it would be fun to start the Terrible Two's at 16 months old.  My god how I love him, even when I want to find a military pre-school for him. I love him oh-so-very-much!

Lately, I find myself missing the silly baby things he used to do, like finding hours of amusement watching his toes, and longing for another baby in the house. I suppose part of it is the impending arrival of my beautiful niece. Trust me, she will be beautiful. Or maybe it's that I have several friends who are also expecting babies in the coming year, whatever it is I have been dreaming about babies and trying to convince myself that we could do it. SHOULD do it. We would love another baby in the house. And yet...if I stand still, something will remind me that I should be grateful for the things I have now, and stop worrying about the things I don't. Something like...

Last week, I was sitting on my bed while my husband gave Mancub his bath. I was tooling around the Internet, minding my own business waiting for them to finish up when I heard some of the strangest sounds imaginable coming from the bathroom. It was a cross between a shriek of horror and groan of disgust. A hybrid of a bark of laughter and a gurgle of vomit. I rushed into the bathroom thinking my husband was having a heart attack (why that popped into my head I don't know) but stopped short when I found my husband holding a soaking wet Mancub under on arm, and trying not vomit while herding a floating turd toward the drain. Yes, we had a floater in the tub, the first time ever and it happened on my husband's watch.

After the initial 'ZOMG I'm gonna hurl' of it passed I couldn't help but laugh at the look on my sweet husband's suddenly green face. And laugh I did. And laugh, and laugh, and laugh. And when I finally caught my breath, I laughed some more. And in that instant I remembered that we had plenty of 'baby' left in Mancub. But mostly I was just really glad it happened on my husband's watch. It wasn't me it happened to, therefore, it was funny dammit! It's the little things that make life worth living, yo.